Kerry O'Brine Womens Wear

Behind the seams


Leave a comment

A special Christmas Trip With Family or Friends

It’s nice to do things with friends and family at this time of year. You may not have time for any big event or get away i.e. like me your diary is soooooo full up till Christmas. If you can squeeze an extra special trip around Christmas time it’s well worth the effort. We are coming closer and closer to Christmas now but sometimes the last minute plans are the best! Personally, I think I’m going to arrange stuff for the days after Christmas.

London

somerset house, ice skating, London, Christmas

The ice skating rink at Somerset House, London for Christmas 2014. Image courtesy of the Somerset House website

Make a day of it in London. I love having a wander around London and looking at all the Christmas lights and decorations. Go to some of the big stores to see their festive window displays. Head to Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park – free entry. Open from 10am to 10pm (from 21st November 2014 – 4th January 2014).

Then grab some skates for ice skating at Somerset House (11th December 2014 – 11th January 2015) or just sit in the Fortnum’s Lodge with a large glass of bubbly and feel smug that your not falling over on an icy sheet!

After some serious window shopping stay in the west end for a mulled wine at a pub, (try Pontefracte Castle on Wigmore street)  for a warming end to the day.

Paris
I always fancy heading to a Christmasy market abroad. But how about doing something different and heading to Paris for a Christmas outing?

Chrismas Tree, Galleries Lafayette, Paris

Head to Paris to see the amazing Christmas Tree at the Galeries Lafayette.

Go ice skating at the Grand Palais des Glaces, see the lights at the Champs-Elysees and the Christmas tree at Galeries Lafayette (with of course a bit of shopping!).

NYC

For a long weekend away, you can’t beat New York New York, especially at Christmas time. I love the hussle and bussle on the streets in NYC and they really know how to make it feel Christmasy. Go shopping and meet Santa on the 8th floor at Macys Santaland. The Mommy Poppins gives a great breakdown of the what’s, where’s, when and who’s of Santaland  (buy tickets in advance).

See the Christmas tree and go ice skating and then do a bit more shopping at the Rockefeller Centre!

tree, Christmas, trip, NYC

The magnificent tree at the Rockerfeller Centre, NYC that you need to go and see in person. Picture courtesy of the Rockerfeller Centre website

Advertisements
Dog tooth suit JPG


1 Comment

Fill your diary with Art and Fashion exhibitions!!

A list of inspirational fashion, art, textiles and clothing exhibitions for 2014 (London, NYC and Paris)

(if there is a fantastic fashion or art exhibition near you then do let me know!!)

This is updated with some great upcoming exhibitions including the not to be missed McQueen….

On NOW:

LONDON:
(19th September 2014 – 18th January 2015) – Fashion and Textile Museum: This looks like another good exhibition from the Fashion and Textile Museum. It’s on my personal ‘go-to’ list.

Horst: Photographer of Style – V & A (6th Sept 2014 – 4th Jan 2015) – A retrospective of Horst’s work (photography) – I’m excited about this one!

Fashion Rules Exhibition (till July 4th 2015) – Royal gowns on display at Kensington Palace

Wedding Dress 1755-2014 (3rd May 2014 – 15th March 2015) – V&A:  If you are interested in bridal wear and the way key designers have treated this subject.

Constable The Making of a Master –  The V & A (20 September 2014 – 11th January 2015)

PARIS:
Dries Van Noten – Inspirations –  Les Arts Décoratifs (March 1st-November 2st 2014)

Fashion in France 1947-57 – The Palais Galliera Museum of Fashion (July 12th -Nov 2nd 2014)

NYC:

ballet, fashion, design, women, 2013 NYC company

The front cover of the Dance and Fashion exhibition leaflet – featuring Iris Van Herpen’s ballet costume design

Exposed: A History of Lingerie – The Museum at FIT (June 3rd – November 15th 2014)

Dance and Fashion – The Museum at FIT (Sept 13th 2014 – Jan 3rd 2015)

I managed to see both the FIT exhibitions above. Take a little look at my favorite bits here.

The Paris of Toulouse-Lautrec: Prints and Posters – MoMa (July 26, 2014–March 22, 2015)

Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe – The Brooklyn Museum: Robert E. Blum Gallery, 1st Floor (September 10, 2014–February 15, 2015)

UPCOMING Exhibitions:

NYC:

 

If you didn’t make it to London to see the fantastic Henri Matisse art exhibition or the Jean-Paul Gaultier Fashion exhibit but New York is more convenient. You are in luck because they are both heading your way in October!

Henri Marisse: the cut outs – MOMA (Oct 12th 2014 – Feb 8th 2015)

Matisse exhibition Tate Modern

Lydia Delectorskaya and Matisse at Hotel Regina, Nice c.1952
Cover of the Tate Modern exhibition booklet

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk – Brooklyn Museum 200 Eastern Parkway (October 25, 2013–February 23, 2014)

Jean Paul Gaultier Cocktail bar Barbican London

Death Becomes Her

Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning attire – MET Museum (October 20th 2014 – February 1st 2015) This sounds fabulous. The title is borrowed from the 1992 film. Which I remember enjoying a lot at the time! It has Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep in it – a must see if it past you by!
Egon Shiele Portraits  – Neue Galerie (Oct 9th 2014 to Jan 19th 2015)

Faking It: Originals, Counterfeits and Copies The FIT (December 2nd 2014 – April 25th 2015)

LONDON

Rembrandt The Final Years (15th Oct 2014 – 18th Jan 2015) – Bringing together 100 works from museums across the world – showing is creative work in the final years of his life.

Piet Mondrian – Tate Liverpool (June 6th – Oct 5th)

 

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty – The V&A (14th March – 19th July 2015) – This is a must see exhibition. I loved it when I was lucky enough to see it NYC. I may even see it again whilst it is in London! I’m so pleased it has made it across to London where it belongs!!

laptop, handbag, women


Leave a comment

Ladies stylish, professional and practical 15.5″ and 15″ laptop handbags

If you want a stylish, practical handbag that fits your laptop and personal effects in then I’ve done the leg work and found a range of bags for you. Each blog entry in this mini series about laptop bags is about a different size of laptop.

15″ and 15.5″ Women’s Laptop bags

If you like a big screen laptop like me then there is less choice of stylish laptop bags that will fit your lovely laptop in. The following are the details and a breakdown of my top picks for handbags that hold 15″ and 15.5″ laptops. I have sectioned it by brand.

laptop, handbag, women

Milli Millu

I personally love all the Milli Millu bags. The Founder, Mireia Llusia-Lindh, has managed a very careful balance of attractive designs and practicality. My one criticism of the website would be the lack of filter to narrow down the bags by laptop size – this would have saved my disappointment of going through each bag and finding I only had one choice for a 15.5″, The Zurich.

For a 15″ laptop from Milli Millu you have the option of The Rio or The Zurich.

The Rio bag, Milli Millu

The Rio, from Milli Millu £395

The Zurich, Milli Millu

The Zurich from Milli Millu £495

Two very different options, The Zurich is very structured and The Rio has a much softer laid back luxe look. Both bags have a great shoulder strap length which makes them both perfect for wearing over the shoulder.
The Rio Handle drop: 23cm and The Zurich Handle drop: 20cm.
The Zurich is a perfect handbag for a busy professional with its five separate compartments for laptop/tablet, papers, pens, smartphone and a zipped pocket for personal items. It’s always good to think about the security of your items when commuting so the zip at the top that closes the Zurich completes this bag.

Knomo

Knomo is another great brand that has really focused on providing a more attractive bag combined with the practicalities we all require! For the 15″ laptop you will find a larger range of options.

Let’s start with the Great Portland and Portland Place – two very similar looking bags. The main difference is in the size of laptop you can fit in. The Portland Place can hold a laptop up to 17″ but only comes in black whereas the Great Portland can hold a laptop up to 15″ and comes in 4 colour options.

They are both made from lightweight and soft nylon. With EVA foam and a double stitched diamond quilting. Are you wondering what EVA foam is and why it is worth mentioning?!! Yes so did I …..

Benefits of Eva foam:

  • Impact and vibration absorption
  • Weather and chemical resistance including splash resistance to oils and fuels
  • Acoustic and thermal insulation properties
  • Buoyancy with low water absorption
  • Suitability for thermo-forming and thermo-moulding
womens blacg laptop bag

Portland Place from Knomo (black) £129

aubergine Great Portland laptop bag Knomo

Great Portland from Knomo £119

They both

  • Zip across the top to close
  • Have an internal quilted and padded compartment to protect the laptop
  • To fit in extra items – both sides of the bags unzip and expand
  • Soft padded shoulder straps
  • Internal pouches and zip pockets for all your extra bits

Hanna and Picton

These are probably my favorite bags from Knomo for combining style and function. Two stylish leather handbags that will both fit over the shoulder and easily carry your 15″ laptop and other belongings. Both bags have a quilted and padded compartment to hold and protect your 15″ laptop. The leather for both bags is quite different. Hannah is made from a soft pebbled leather and Picton is made from a hard durable Saffiano leather.

Picton, Knomo

Picton (in black) from Knomo £249

Hanna, Knomo

Hanna from Knomo £245

 

 

Picton

Inside the Picton there is a panel in which you can store items like pens, memory sticks or business cards. A front pocket on the exterior is great for items like your Oyster card that you want to grab quickly. There is also an additional interior zip compartment – maybe you can keep some personal items in here.  A nice long shoulder drop of 25 cm means Picton will easily sit on your shoulder.

Hanna (available in red, black or grey)
The sides of Hanna unzip for easy and maximum access to the main compartment. The handle drop is 24cm and will be very comfortable on the shoulder as they are made from padded soft pebbled leather. The top zip fastening adds that extra bit of security.

Aspinal of London

The Marylebone Tech

Navy, leather, bag, laptop, professional, women

The Marlyebone Tech, Navy £895

 Aspinal of London have obviously put a lot of thought into this bag design. With its mobile phone pocket and padded ipod compartment both designed with a cable path. The bag is designed to carry a battery charger for both mobiles and ipads, so you can charge on the go! But I wasn’t so impressed that this charger had to be purchased separately (£100).

The bag is made of navy pebble textured Italian calf leather. The handle drop is quite short at 5.5″/13.5cm. So to me this is more of a grab tote or crook of the arm bag than an over the shoulder handbag.

In addition to the padded ipad compartment and phone pocket there is a large main compartment and two external hidden pockets. The large main compartment means you should be able to get a laptop in too and potentially fit up to 17.3″ laptop in there – but I would check with Aspinal of London first. For added security the bag closes with a full length zip.

Also available in deer (beige shade), black or black and cream. Or the option is there Marlyebone Tote which is the same size but doesn’t have the option to carry the charger or have the cable paths. It comes in brown or black.

Bobelle

Another brand I am totally loving at the moment is Bobelle. Although the designer has not done a many work bag/laptop bags the styles and designs are gorgeous.

Handbag, leather, London, laptop

The Rivington, Bobelle £315

 The Rivington
Spacious enough for a tablet or small laptop (up to about a 15″ laptop), wallet and other accessories.
The lovely suede lining is quite different to all the other grosgrain linings other handbags are wearing!
The bag has a lockable external pocket, an internal zip pocket, an internal mobile phone pocket, pen holder and spare holder. The handle drop of 21cm is perfect for wearing over the shoulder.
Kate Spade
This is a smart looking laptop bag from Kate Spade. This is a padded nylon bag so it’s light and it has some smart patent leather trims. I really like the fact you have the two strap options – the long (23″/58.5cm) adjustable strap for across body or shoulder wear and the handheld handles (5.25”/13cm). The bag fits a 15″ laptop and you have room for more items in there too with an interior double slide pocket and middle divider.
The bag style is more your traditional laptop case than all the others but it is smart and has a more subtle stylishness!
black, nylon, bag, laptop

Kate Spade, black Nylon

Other brands for colour and patterns!
You could go for a bright colour or nice pattern to jazz up your commute. Try Marc by Marc Jacobs or Orla Kiely. Some practical bags with some nice bright and interesting covers.

Orla Kiely, handbag, laptop bag

Orla Kiely: 15″

Marc Jacobs, work laptop bag

Marc by Marc Jacobs: Gamma Ray 15″

Marc Jacobs, work bag, laptop

Marc by Marc Jacobs: Red Bag 15″

 

So to sum it up, my laptop is 15.5″ laptop (screen size): is 27cm height and 38cm length. Really there aren’t many options at all for a stylish handbag for a 15.5″ laptop… it’s the Zurich from Milli Millu or the Marlybone Tech/tote from Aspinal of London. Hopefully your laptop is a 15″ or less! All my favorite Milli Millu bags come in smaller sizes! Please Milli Millu do one of your bags bigger because my laptop is a 15.5″ but won’t fit into your Zurich bag!

15.5" and 15" ladies laptop bags
Matisse The Cut-Outs


3 Comments

Cut Out and Keep – New Eyes for Art

Lydia Delectorskaya and Matisse at Hotel Regina, Nice c.1952  Cover of the Tate Modern exhibition booklet

Lydia Delectorskaya and Matisse at Hotel Regina, Nice c.1952
Cover of the Tate Modern exhibition booklet

I’m always surprised when I mention an artist like Matisse and someone has not heard of them. I’m probably so absorbed in my own little creative world that I don’t realise that others are not so interested or have not been exposed to such delights.

If you, like a friend of mine, have not heard of Matisse, 2014 is your opportunity to find out about him.

The Cut-Outs is Tate Modern exhibition filled with huge works that Matisse created in the last seventeen years of his life (He lived from 1869-1954).

You’ll see a video of him cutting the paper with his huge pair of scissors. You will be amazed that he cut three out of his four blue nudes in one single movement/cut from one single sheet of blue painted paper.
Blue Nude II

Blue Nude II 1952

Blue Nude III 1952

Blue Nude III 1952

There is a table with swatches of all the colours that he painted the paper with – such beautiful colours. Seeing the brush strokes first hand and close up is not something I expected from his Cut-Outs nor was it something I thought that I would find so exciting and interesting. In books I guess I presumed the paper was already that colour (not painted by Matisse).

I was stunned by the size of some of his work – you really do not get a sense of this from pictures of his work in books.

Due to his limited mobility in these later years of his life he turned to this paper cutting technique. It was totally new and fresh and to me it feels as though someone could have been displaying these pieces as current new art works.

Matisse’s lack of mobility and declining strength seemed to only increase his ambition and scale of his cut-outs. He decorated the walls in his house with his cut-outs. Creating a natural world inside that he could no longer be part of outside.

The Parakeet and the Mermaid 1952

The Parakeet and the Mermaid 1952

Whether you know Matisse from his earlier works or you do not know him at all, this is a beautiful must see for all.

Henri Matisee: The Cut-Outs finishes on the 7th September 2014 – lots of time left!

Visit this extraordinary 14 room, 130 works of art (you get your money’s worth!) exhibition at the Tate Modern in London.  Consider this exhibition your art education for 2014.

Adults £18.00

Concessions £16.00

Under 12’s Free

To beat the crowds pay £30 to see the exhibition on a Sunday Late evening: 20.00- 22.30

Please don’t forget to book all your tickets. It is a very popular exhibition and the day I had booked tickets for, completely sold out.

 


1 Comment

Current and Upcoming Fashion Exhibitions Around the World in 2014

A list of inspirational fashion, art, textiles and clothing exhibitions for 2014 (London, NYC and Paris)

On NOW:

LONDON:

Fashion Rules Exhibition (till July 4th 2015) – Royal gowns on display at Kensington Palace

Artist Textiles: Picasso to Warhol (31st Jan – 17th May 2014) The Fashion and Textiles Museum in London traces the history of 20th Century art in textiles. A great exhibit – read about my visit here.

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk (9th April 2014 – 17th Aug 2014)

I really enjoyed this exhibition and the cocktail bar! Read more…image

The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014 (5th April – 27th July 2014) – The craftsmanship and luxurious materials should make this a lovely exhibit.

Wedding Dress 1755-2014 (3rd May 2014 – 15th March 2015) – If you are interested in bridal wear and the way key designers have treated this subject.

 

PARIS:

A Century of Fashion Photography at Conde Nast (March 1st – May 25th 2014) – The Palais Galliera Museum of Fashion: A photography exhibition with 15 couture items from the Palais Galliera collections

Les Impressionnistes de Prive  The Marmottan Monet Museum (Feb 13th – July 6th 2014) (opening hours Tues – Sun 10am – 6pm, Thursdays till 8pm)

NYC:

Charles James: Beyond Fashion – MET Museum (8th May – 10th Aug 2014) – The Costume Institute in NYC will explore the designs of the Anglo-American designer Charles James.

Gauguin: MetamorphosisMoMA Museum(March 8th – June 9th 2014) – Focuses on Gauguin’s prints and transfer drawings.


 

UPCOMING Exhibitions:

LONDON

Horst: Photographer of Style – V & A (6th Sept 2014 – 4th Jan 2015) – A retrospective of Horst’s work (photography)

Colour (18th June-7th September 2014) – National Gallery: Each room of this exhibition will be dedicated to a different colour. Trace the history of colour in art.

Rembrandt The Final Years (15th Oct 2014 – 18th Jan 2015) – Bringing together 100 works from museums across the world – showing is creative work in the final years of his life.

NYC

Exposed: A History of Lingerie – The Museum at FIT (June 3rd – November 15th 2014)

Dance and Fashion – The Museum at FIT (Sept 13th 2014 – Jan 3rd 2015)

PARIS

Fashion in France 1947-57 – The Palais Galliera Museum of Fashion (July 12th -Nov 2nd 2014)

 

 


2 Comments

Time To Fill Your Fashion Cups

If you have an evening spare or more to the point – make sure you have an evening free.

Not far from the London’s city banking area is the Barbican. A huge grey sprawling range of buildings holds a great mix of gems inside.

At the moment it holds a huge amazing exhibition of Jean Paul Gaultier’s beautiful, striking, clever and witty fashion. Open Sunday – weds 10am-6pm, Thurs-Sat 10am-9pm. (perfect for a bank holiday – open 12pm-8pm!)

meeting JPG

Kerry meets Jean Paul Gaultier!!

The exhibit’s layout and displays reflect his personality and design asethetics. The mannequins have projected faces onto them – sometimes they sing or just blink! You even get Jean Paul Gaultier welcoming you to the exhibit!

Look in to my eyes

A wall of film and tv clips that JPG clothes have featured in.

It was so great to see it in real life. His works have been in so many different films, programmes and magazines. The wall of screens reminds you of some of the film moments.

One of favs

One of my most favorite dresses of all time.

better smiley

Enjoying myself – what a gorgeous picture!

It was so nice to see some of my favorite dresses on display. They were even better than when I’ve seen them in magazines. The detail and couture work is amazing; all the beads, sequins and detailed cuts.

Look at the ladyimage (2)

 

 

 

Wear your best pointy bra or sailor t-shirt and head to the JPG bar. Polish off the evening with a lovely cocktail. The cocktails have all been given names on the JPG theme. I loved the lamps and I think I might do some DIY and create one or two at home! Makes for a nice Thursday or Friday night after work drink – open 5.30pm-10pm (sat-wed 5.30-9pm)
Bar

Relaxing in the bar!

image (1) - Copy

Soft landing

image6

Fill your cups!


The exhibition finishes 25th August 2014 and might just quench your fashion thirst until the McQueen exhibit roles into town until next year!

Fashion and Textiles Museum Artist Textiles exhibition


1 Comment

Friday Fashion Inspiration Exploration

I eventually found the time to go to the Fashion and Textile Museum current exhibition ‘Artist Textiles: Picasso to Warhol’ on Friday!

It actually turned out to be very relevant time for me as I’m currently working on some print designs.

I wanted to share some of my favorites from the exhibition with you but not all – you really need to go see for yourself!! It’s on until 17th May so you have plenty of time still !! There is so many lovely prints to see and a big variety of styles as well – it is hard to pick favorites!

Follow the Print Design Trends:

The exhibition starts between 1910 and 1939 with work by Fauvist, Fururist and Constructivist artists who became involved in textile design.

It then moves on to the 1940s ‘Brave new world’ textile designs – following the 2nd World War where they focused on creating exports to boost the British economy.

In the 1940s the Surrealism movement starts and you see work by Dali – one of the most popular and fashionable.

Henry Matisse: 'Echarpe No 1' 1947

Henry Matisse: ‘Echarpe No 1’ 1947

 

 

 

Marcel Vertes: 'Vegetable Patch' Screen-printed silk head scarf 1944

Marcel Vertes: ‘Vegetable Patch’ Screen-printed silk head scarf 1944

 

 

 

 

We then move onto the 1950s and this has several different styles going on. Many artists were involved into print design from Miro to Henry Moore. The exhibition ends on some wonderful prints by Warhol.

Andy Warhol: 'Ice Cream Sundaes' Screen Printed cotton fashion textiles 1962

Andy Warhol: ‘Ice Cream Sundaes’ Screen Printed cotton fashion textiles 1962

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’ve never been to the Fashion and Textiles Museum you’ll be pleasantly surprised by it. With reasonable entry prices, interesting display layouts and a cute little cafe – it’s hard to beat. Oh yea and it’s a 5 min walk from London Bridge: perfect if you work that end of town and you fancy some culture post work.